20.09.2022 – 19:06 UTC
The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has denied a petition by Republic Airways (YX, Indianapolis Int’l) to halve the required 1,500 flying hours of Part 121 airline pilots to tackle a pilot shortage crippling the US regional airline sector.
In a letter on April 14, 2022, Republic Airways Chief Operating Officer Paul Kinstedt petitioned the FAA for an exemption of a section (Part 61) of federal regulations that would allow graduates from the airline’s wholly-owned subsidiary, Leadership in Flight Training Academy (LIFT), to apply for a Restricted Air Transport Pilot (R-ATP) certificate with only 750 flight hours – the same reduced aeronautical experience as military or former military pilots.
Republic Airways argued that its pilot training programme resembled and even surpassed US military training by providing comprehensive and structured training for civilian pilots. It stated that close alignment between LIFT
and Republic Airways meant the two shared identical Standard Operating Procedures, with feedback and ongoing enhancements through programme assessments and data analysis. In addition, LIFT graduates who met the R-ATP certificate standard and failed no…
09.06.2022 – 14:54 UTC
Around 100 regional jets operated by capacity providers on behalf of American Airlines (AA, Dallas/Fort Worth) under the American Eagle brand are currently grounded due to a lack of pilots, Chief Executive Robert Isom said during the Bernstein Strategic Decisions investor conference.
According to The Dallas Morning News, Isom explained that the root of the problem was the downsizing undertaken during the COVID-19 pandemic when around 1,000 out of American’s 15,000 pilots opted for early retirement packages. To compensate for this shortage in the post-crisis boom, the airline hired pilots from regional carriers which have now born the brunt of the crisis as they are unable to train enough new crews.
The problem is likely to be aggravated by the upcoming peak of scheduled retirements, with more than 700 pilots due to leave American Airlines every year between 2023 and 2026.
The scale of the issue means that around one in six regional jets flying under the American Eagle brand is now parked. American Airlines is addressing the problem by upgauging flights formerly operated by…
12.05.2022 – 14:00 UTC
Republic Airways (YX, Indianapolis Int’l) has petitioned the US Department of Transportation for an exemption to allow it to recruit pilots with 750 flight hours – half the current requirement – to start operating commercial flights under strict conditions.
The US regional capacity provider is petitioning to expand the current exemption from the 1,500 flight hour requirement for ex-military pilots. Under Federal Regulations (C.F.R.) §61.160(a), former military pilots can enter commercial operations with 750 logged hours, provided that they have not been removed for a lack of flying proficiency or disciplinary actions.
Republic Airways wants to have the requirement lowered to 750 hours for civilian candidates who are enrolled in the Republic Airways Restricted Air Transport Pilot (R-ATP) Program, the carrier’s in-house training pathway. This would allow them to complete their training while already operating as full-time employees of the airline. Republic Airways said its training standards exceed legal minima as well as military ones.
“The Republic R-ATP Program is designed to make airline pilot career opportunities more accessible for qualified individuals from underrepresented…